Friday, January 28, 2005

Exactly half of Mumbai is riddled with pot-holes. The other half isn’t. Why?? We’ll come to that later. I stay in that half of Mumbai where even ½ a km. of road stretch has at least six major ‘craters’ and 4 bumps. It is not shocking anymore. When I go on my bike I step out with the spirit of a cross-country biker! Auto-rickshaws are hopeless means of transport in this part of Mumbai because travelling in one of these is sure to give one backache to last for an entire day. When I come across these teeth-shattering craters, I feel extremely angry and STUPID!! I feel like I, as a citizen, am being cheated, being mocked at by the BMC, the government, the local corporators…everyone involved in running the city. I don’t want to be jolted up and down and in an out feeling like a complete idiot…I don’t want my entire system bashed mercilessly by the numerous bumps and pits when I travel!! I am very angry.
The ‘other’ half of Mumbai is called ‘town’. Where the suburbs end, the boundary where auto-rickshaws stop…the yellow-black cabs rule…where Pajeros and Lancers are common sights. Here, is the picture of the ‘ideal’ metropolis. Smooth roads. I still have not been able to figure out why there is such blatant disparity between the suburbs and town. The reason becomes obvious after giving it a minute of thought. Money, power, politics, politicians, celebrities…everything is a reason.
This is the condition of the commercial capital of India. I shudder to think what it must be like in smaller towns. This is the picture of ‘India Shining’? The smartest way out of this whole misery seems to be ‘going abroad’. I have myself wanted to run away from here for numerous reasons. One of them being apathy and the other is being tired of feeling stupid. But at the same time I know that for a better lifestyle and standard of life, there is really no point going anywhere ‘outside’. Because in exchange for smoother, wider roads, I might have to compromise on my freedom of expression…or maybe freedom of wearing any kind of clothes I want to wear. Now I think that it’s a very big price to pay. So, at the end of the day, I am an artist. And the one thing that an artist needs is FREEDOM. I can write whatever song that comes to mind, wear any outfit I want at shows, sing in any language I want to and most of all, I CAN SING!!!
There’s a friend of mine in the US of A. She ALWAYS wanted to go there. She is not happy. Why? Because the whole of her neighbourhood is SO quiet and dead that she feels happy even to spot a dog who’s aimlessly barking away. So, when she comes down here, her source of happiness becomes pigeons making mating sounds, dogs growling while mating, dogs growling otherwise, kids shouting, mom shouting, bhelwallahs yelling and the like. Humans are very weird!


Premjit said...

yeah, tell me about those potholes!!! Especially if u r travelling in an autorickshaw... NIGHTMARE arent they?

Acoustic Dreamer said...

Prem, as you can see, I have taken a bit of inspiration from your 'obsession' with mating dogs! ;)